Maria Barrett


pdf bib
Can Humans Identify Domains?
Maria Barrett | Max Müller-Eberstein | Elisa Bassignana | Amalie Brogaard Pauli | Mike Zhang | Rob van der Goot
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Textual domain is a crucial property within the Natural Language Processing (NLP) community due to its effects on downstream model performance. The concept itself is, however, loosely defined and, in practice, refers to any non-typological property, such as genre, topic, medium or style of a document. We investigate the core notion of domains via human proficiency in identifying related intrinsic textual properties, specifically the concepts of genre (communicative purpose) and topic (subject matter). We publish our annotations in TGeGUM: A collection of 9.1k sentences from the GUM dataset (Zeldes, 2017) with single sentence and larger context (i.e., prose) annotations for one of 11 genres (source type), and its topic/subtopic as per the Dewey Decimal library classification system (Dewey, 1979), consisting of 10/100 hierarchical topics of increased granularity. Each instance is annotated by three annotators, for a total of 32.7k annotations, allowing us to examine the level of human disagreement and the relative difficulty of each annotation task. With a Fleiss’ kappa of at most 0.53 on the sentence level and 0.66 at the prose level, it is evident that despite the ubiquity of domains in NLP, there is little human consensus on how to define them. By training classifiers to perform the same task, we find that this uncertainty also extends to NLP models.


pdf bib
Dyslexia Prediction from Natural Reading of Danish Texts
Marina Björnsdóttir | Nora Hollenstein | Maria Barrett
Proceedings of the 24th Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics (NoDaLiDa)

Dyslexia screening in adults is an open challenge since difficulties may not align with standardised tests designed for children. We collect eye-tracking data from natural reading of Danish texts from readers with dyslexia while closely following the experimental design of a corpus of readers without dyslexia. Research suggests that the opaque orthography of the Danish language affects the diagnostic characteristics of dyslexia. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to classify dyslexia from eye movements during reading in Danish. We experiment with various machine-learning methods, and our best model yields 0.85 F1 score.

pdf bib
DanTok: Domain Beats Language for Danish Social Media POS Tagging
Kia Kirstein Hansen | Maria Barrett | Max Müller-Eberstein | Cathrine Damgaard | Trine Eriksen | Rob van der Goot
Proceedings of the 24th Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics (NoDaLiDa)

Language from social media remains challenging to process automatically, especially for non-English languages. In this work, we introduce the first NLP dataset for TikTok comments and the first Danish social media dataset with part-of-speech annotation. We further supply annotations for normalization, code-switching, and annotator uncertainty. As transferring models to such a highly specialized domain is non-trivial, we conduct an extensive study into which source data and modeling decisions most impact the performance. Surprisingly, transferring from in-domain data, even from a different language, outperforms in-language, out-of-domain training. These benefits nonetheless rely on the underlying language models having been at least partially pre-trained on data from the target language. Using our additional annotation layers, we further analyze how normalization, code-switching, and human uncertainty affect the tagging accuracy.

pdf bib
Native Language Prediction from Gaze: a Reproducibility Study
Lina Skerath | Paulina Toborek | Anita Zielińska | Maria Barrett | Rob Van Der Goot
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 4: Student Research Workshop)

Numerous studies found that the linguistic properties of a person’s native language affect the cognitive processing of other languages. However, only one study has shown that it was possible to identify the native language based on eye-tracking records of natural L2 reading using machine learning. A new corpus allows us to replicate these results on a more interrelated and larger set of native languages. Our results show that comparable classification performance is maintained despite using less data. However, analysis shows that the correlation between L2 eye movements and native language similarity may be more complex than the original study found.


pdf bib
The Copenhagen Corpus of Eye Tracking Recordings from Natural Reading of Danish Texts
Nora Hollenstein | Maria Barrett | Marina Björnsdóttir
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Eye movement recordings from reading are one of the richest signals of human language processing. Corpora of eye movements during reading of contextualized running text is a way of making such records available for natural language processing purposes. Such corpora already exist in some languages. We present CopCo, the Copenhagen Corpus of eye tracking recordings from natural reading of Danish texts. It is the first eye tracking corpus of its kind for the Danish language. CopCo includes 1,832 sentences with 34,897 tokens of Danish text extracted from a collection of speech manuscripts. This first release of the corpus contains eye tracking data from 22 participants. It will be extended continuously with more participants and texts from other genres. We assess the data quality of the recorded eye movements and find that the extracted features are in line with related research. The dataset available here:

pdf bib
The Sensitivity of Annotator Bias to Task Definitions in Argument Mining
Terne Sasha Thorn Jakobsen | Maria Barrett | Anders Søgaard | David Lassen
Proceedings of the 16th Linguistic Annotation Workshop (LAW-XVI) within LREC2022

NLP models are dependent on the data they are trained on, including how this data is annotated. NLP research increasingly examines the social biases of models, but often in the light of their training data and specific social biases that can be identified in the text itself. In this paper, we present an annotation experiment that is the first to examine the extent to which social bias is sensitive to how data is annotated. We do so by collecting annotations of arguments in the same documents following four different guidelines and from four different demographic annotator backgrounds. We show that annotations exhibit widely different levels of group disparity depending on which guidelines annotators follow. The differences are not explained by task complexity, but rather by characteristics of these demographic groups, as previously identified by sociological studies. We release a dataset that is small in the number of instances but large in the number of annotations with demographic information, and our results encourage an increased awareness of annotator bias.


pdf bib
DaNLP: An open-source toolkit for Danish Natural Language Processing
Amalie Brogaard Pauli | Maria Barrett | Ophélie Lacroix | Rasmus Hvingelby
Proceedings of the 23rd Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics (NoDaLiDa)

We present an open-source toolkit for Danish Natural Language Processing, enabling easy access to Danish NLP’s latest advancements. The toolkit features wrapper-functions for loading models and datasets in a unified way using third-party NLP frameworks. The toolkit is developed to enhance community building, understanding the need from industry and knowledge sharing. As an example of this, we present Angry Tweets: An Annotation Game to create awareness of Danish NLP and create a new sentiment-annotated dataset.

pdf bib
Resources and Evaluations for Danish Entity Resolution
Maria Barrett | Hieu Lam | Martin Wu | Ophélie Lacroix | Barbara Plank | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Computational Models of Reference, Anaphora and Coreference

Automatic coreference resolution is understudied in Danish even though most of the Danish Dependency Treebank (Buch-Kromann, 2003) is annotated with coreference relations. This paper describes a conversion of its partial, yet well-documented, coreference relations into coreference clusters and the training and evaluation of coreference models on this data. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first publicly available, neural coreference models for Danish. We also present a new entity linking annotation on the dataset using WikiData identifiers, a named entity disambiguation (NED) dataset, and a larger automatically created NED dataset enabling wikily supervised NED models. The entity linking annotation is benchmarked using a state-of-the-art neural entity disambiguation model.

pdf bib
Spurious Correlations in Cross-Topic Argument Mining
Terne Sasha Thorn Jakobsen | Maria Barrett | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of *SEM 2021: The Tenth Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics

Recent work in cross-topic argument mining attempts to learn models that generalise across topics rather than merely relying on within-topic spurious correlations. We examine the effectiveness of this approach by analysing the output of single-task and multi-task models for cross-topic argument mining, through a combination of linear approximations of their decision boundaries, manual feature grouping, challenge examples, and ablations across the input vocabulary. Surprisingly, we show that cross-topic models still rely mostly on spurious correlations and only generalise within closely related topics, e.g., a model trained only on closed-class words and a few common open-class words outperforms a state-of-the-art cross-topic model on distant target topics.


pdf bib
DaNE: A Named Entity Resource for Danish
Rasmus Hvingelby | Amalie Brogaard Pauli | Maria Barrett | Christina Rosted | Lasse Malm Lidegaard | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We present a named entity annotation for the Danish Universal Dependencies treebank using the CoNLL-2003 annotation scheme: DaNE. It is the largest publicly available, Danish named entity gold annotation. We evaluate the quality of our annotations intrinsically by double annotating the entire treebank and extrinsically by comparing our annotations to a recently released named entity annotation of the validation and test sections of the Danish Universal Dependencies treebank. We benchmark the new resource by training and evaluating competitive architectures for supervised named entity recognition (NER), including FLAIR, monolingual (Danish) BERT and multilingual BERT. We explore cross-lingual transfer in multilingual BERT from five related languages in zero-shot and direct transfer setups, and we show that even with our modestly-sized training set, we improve Danish NER over a recent cross-lingual approach, as well as over zero-shot transfer from five related languages. Using multilingual BERT, we achieve higher performance by fine-tuning on both DaNE and a larger Bokmål (Norwegian) training set compared to only using DaNE. However, the highest performance isachieved by using a Danish BERT fine-tuned on DaNE. Our dataset enables improvements and applicability for Danish NER beyond cross-lingual methods. We employ a thorough error analysis of the predictions of the best models for seen and unseen entities, as well as their robustness on un-capitalized text. The annotated dataset and all the trained models are made publicly available.

pdf bib
The Sensitivity of Language Models and Humans to Winograd Schema Perturbations
Mostafa Abdou | Vinit Ravishankar | Maria Barrett | Yonatan Belinkov | Desmond Elliott | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Large-scale pretrained language models are the major driving force behind recent improvements in perfromance on the Winograd Schema Challenge, a widely employed test of commonsense reasoning ability. We show, however, with a new diagnostic dataset, that these models are sensitive to linguistic perturbations of the Winograd examples that minimally affect human understanding. Our results highlight interesting differences between humans and language models: language models are more sensitive to number or gender alternations and synonym replacements than humans, and humans are more stable and consistent in their predictions, maintain a much higher absolute performance, and perform better on non-associative instances than associative ones.

pdf bib
Towards Best Practices for Leveraging Human Language Processing Signals for Natural Language Processing
Nora Hollenstein | Maria Barrett | Lisa Beinborn
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Linguistic and Neurocognitive Resources

NLP models are imperfect and lack intricate capabilities that humans access automatically when processing speech or reading a text. Human language processing data can be leveraged to increase the performance of models and to pursue explanatory research for a better understanding of the differences between human and machine language processing. We review recent studies leveraging different types of cognitive processing signals, namely eye-tracking, M/EEG and fMRI data recorded during language understanding. We discuss the role of cognitive data for machine learning-based NLP methods and identify fundamental challenges for processing pipelines. Finally, we propose practical strategies for using these types of cognitive signals to enhance NLP models.

pdf bib
Type B Reflexivization as an Unambiguous Testbed for Multilingual Multi-Task Gender Bias
Ana Valeria González | Maria Barrett | Rasmus Hvingelby | Kellie Webster | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

The one-sided focus on English in previous studies of gender bias in NLP misses out on opportunities in other languages: English challenge datasets such as GAP and WinoGender highlight model preferences that are “hallucinatory”, e.g., disambiguating gender-ambiguous occurrences of ‘doctor’ as male doctors. We show that for languages with type B reflexivization, e.g., Swedish and Russian, we can construct multi-task challenge datasets for detecting gender bias that lead to unambiguously wrong model predictions: In these languages, the direct translation of ‘the doctor removed his mask’ is not ambiguous between a coreferential reading and a disjoint reading. Instead, the coreferential reading requires a non-gendered pronoun, and the gendered, possessive pronouns are anti-reflexive. We present a multilingual, multi-task challenge dataset, which spans four languages and four NLP tasks and focuses only on this phenomenon. We find evidence for gender bias across all task-language combinations and correlate model bias with national labor market statistics.


pdf bib
Adversarial Removal of Demographic Attributes Revisited
Maria Barrett | Yova Kementchedjhieva | Yanai Elazar | Desmond Elliott | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Elazar and Goldberg (2018) showed that protected attributes can be extracted from the representations of a debiased neural network for mention detection at above-chance levels, by evaluating a diagnostic classifier on a held-out subsample of the data it was trained on. We revisit their experiments and conduct a series of follow-up experiments showing that, in fact, the diagnostic classifier generalizes poorly to both new in-domain samples and new domains, indicating that it relies on correlations specific to their particular data sample. We further show that a diagnostic classifier trained on the biased baseline neural network also does not generalize to new samples. In other words, the biases detected in Elazar and Goldberg (2018) seem restricted to their particular data sample, and would therefore not bias the decisions of the model on new samples, whether in-domain or out-of-domain. In light of this, we discuss better methodologies for detecting bias in our models.


pdf bib
Sequence Classification with Human Attention
Maria Barrett | Joachim Bingel | Nora Hollenstein | Marek Rei | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

Learning attention functions requires large volumes of data, but many NLP tasks simulate human behavior, and in this paper, we show that human attention really does provide a good inductive bias on many attention functions in NLP. Specifically, we use estimated human attention derived from eye-tracking corpora to regularize attention functions in recurrent neural networks. We show substantial improvements across a range of tasks, including sentiment analysis, grammatical error detection, and detection of abusive language.

pdf bib
Unsupervised Induction of Linguistic Categories with Records of Reading, Speaking, and Writing
Maria Barrett | Ana Valeria González-Garduño | Lea Frermann | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

When learning POS taggers and syntactic chunkers for low-resource languages, different resources may be available, and often all we have is a small tag dictionary, motivating type-constrained unsupervised induction. Even small dictionaries can improve the performance of unsupervised induction algorithms. This paper shows that performance can be further improved by including data that is readily available or can be easily obtained for most languages, i.e., eye-tracking, speech, or keystroke logs (or any combination thereof). We project information from all these data sources into shared spaces, in which the union of words is represented. For English unsupervised POS induction, the additional information, which is not required at test time, leads to an average error reduction on Ontonotes domains of 1.5% over systems augmented with state-of-the-art word embeddings. On Penn Treebank the best model achieves 5.4% error reduction over a word embeddings baseline. We also achieve significant improvements for syntactic chunk induction. Our analysis shows that improvements are even bigger when the available tag dictionaries are smaller.

pdf bib
Predicting misreadings from gaze in children with reading difficulties
Joachim Bingel | Maria Barrett | Sigrid Klerke
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications

We present the first work on predicting reading mistakes in children with reading difficulties based on eye-tracking data from real-world reading teaching. Our approach employs several linguistic and gaze-based features to inform an ensemble of different classifiers, including multi-task learning models that let us transfer knowledge about individual readers to attain better predictions. Notably, the data we use in this work stems from noisy readings in the wild, outside of controlled lab conditions. Our experiments show that despite the noise and despite the small fraction of misreadings, gaze data improves the performance more than any other feature group and our models achieve good performance. We further show that gaze patterns for misread words do not fully generalize across readers, but that we can transfer some knowledge between readers using multitask learning at least in some cases. Applications of our models include partial automation of reading assessment as well as personalized text simplification.


pdf bib
Extracting token-level signals of syntactic processing from fMRI - with an application to PoS induction
Joachim Bingel | Maria Barrett | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

pdf bib
Weakly Supervised Part-of-speech Tagging Using Eye-tracking Data
Maria Barrett | Joachim Bingel | Frank Keller | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

pdf bib
Cross-lingual Transfer of Correlations between Parts of Speech and Gaze Features
Maria Barrett | Frank Keller | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

Several recent studies have shown that eye movements during reading provide information about grammatical and syntactic processing, which can assist the induction of NLP models. All these studies have been limited to English, however. This study shows that gaze and part of speech (PoS) correlations largely transfer across English and French. This means that we can replicate previous studies on gaze-based PoS tagging for French, but also that we can use English gaze data to assist the induction of French NLP models.


pdf bib
Reading behavior predicts syntactic categories
Maria Barrett | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the Nineteenth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

pdf bib
Using reading behavior to predict grammatical functions
Maria Barrett | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Learning

pdf bib
Reading metrics for estimating task efficiency with MT output
Sigrid Klerke | Sheila Castilho | Maria Barrett | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Learning